Kurt Cobain, Hipster ChristMain MenuHipster Culture at a GlanceHipster Stardom and Kurt Cobain'In Utero''MTV Unplugged in New York'Kurt's SacrificeWorks CitedAshley Hawkins726140adc61c4a4e48ede277efffd60d746c2773
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12017-04-05T02:52:28-07:00Ashley Hawkins726140adc61c4a4e48ede277efffd60d746c2773169908One of the more popular images of Kurt Cobain circulated on the web, a photo of him performing while touring for 'In Utero,' depicts him with angel wings (that are actually attached to a stage prop behind him), reinforcing the mythology of him as a Christ-like martyr.plain2017-10-17T03:56:52-07:00Ashley Hawkins726140adc61c4a4e48ede277efffd60d746c2773
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12017-04-05T02:44:19-07:00Hipster Stardom and Kurt Cobain18plain2017-10-17T03:59:19-07:00Though members of the hipster subculture trademark themselves as untraditional, the hipster new wave of the 1990s to the present emerged in the same way that many, if not most, trends – from daily fashion to plastic surgery, from fad diets to complete lifestyle overhauls – that sweep American culture do: following the example of a star. In Stars, Richard Dyer asserts that “star images function crucially in relation to contradictions within and between ideologies, which they seek variously to ‘manage’ or resolve” (Dyer, Stars 34). In other words, Dyer argues that stars are especially useful in showing normal citizens how to balance (or reject, if they are more subversive) the clashing values in our society at large and even within our various subcultures – including hipster culture, where Kurt Cobain provided the ultimate model for how to offset the inconsistencies regarding conformity. As a rock star rooted in the American underground, Cobain struggled to stabilize the competing requirements of authenticity, more commonly known as not ‘selling out,’ and capitalistic success, particularly crossover potential with a mainstream or pop fan base. This refusal to compromise on the hipster ideals of artistic vision and quality – especially following the release of Nirvana's last studio album, In Utero, which came out after already achieving unexpected widespread popularity – in addition to his persona as a tortured artist (which included its own balancing act to seem tragic rather than pathetic) rendered him the ultimate martyr for the hipster philosophy. In a way, just as Jesus Christ died for the sins of humanity, on a smaller scale, Kurt Cobain’s suicide served as a way to preserve alternative validity and atone for the hipster sin of capitalist traditionalism.